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Author Topic: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse  (Read 6038 times)
chmnyboy
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May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« on: 05/14/12, 03:32 PM »

This last weekend, the notorious Allen Taylor and I completed the traverse from Hurricane Ridge to Royal Basin in Olympic National Park. Allen is undoubtedly better at writing TR's and taking pictures, but since I have no job and nothing better to do I figured I'd throw this report up real quick. The route is long and the following text might be tedious, so you really might just want to skip to the pictures.

Day 1: Hurricane to Lillian Glacier Basin
Allen had other ambitions for the weekend, but I talked him in to joining me for the traverse. We started from the 'Ridge at 9am and skinned the Obstruction Point Road to the end by noon where we enjoyed bacon and cheddar bagel sandwiches. We followed Grand Ridge south to point 6580 where we had our first short descent of the trip. The snowpack was so consolidated that even this SE facing run held top-notch hero corn at a decidedly late 2pm. These awesome ski conditions were to stay with us for the rest of the trip. We then ascended to the top of Moose and enjoyed a lengthy ski to Gladys Lake on more killer corn. From Gladys we climbed to 6701 and had a final late afternoon descent into camp at the bottom of Lillian Glacier Basin. Total climbing/descent of just over 4,000'

Day 2: Lillian Glacier Basin to Royal Basin
This day was significantly longer than either of us expected and included seven major climbs and seven major descents, all of which were worth every bit of the effort. We left camp and climbed south to point 6615, then descended to Cameron Basin. We then gained the saddle between  Cameron's West Peak and point 7018 and descended the West Cameron Glacier and traversed to the East Glacier Basin. We enjoyed some more bacon and cheddar sandwiches, and Allen then led a soul crushing post-holing boot pack to the top of a ridge so we could ski down to Cedar Lake. From Cedar we climbed east and descended into the East Upper Grey Wolf Basin. We climbed above Grey Wolf Pass to descend deep into the West Upper Grey Wolf Basin. I really had no idea how large Upper Grey Wolf was...not to be underestimated. From there we climbed to the Deception Glacier moraine, then turning south and ascending an unnamed pass to drop to the base of Surprise Gap. Our final push of the day was the ascent of Surprise Gap, where we then enjoyed a fast evening ski into Royal Basin. Total gain/loss for the day was between 7,000' and 8,000'.

The final day was an uneventful ski/skin/hike out Royal Basin and back to Port Angeles where we enjoyed Burgers and Beer at my favorite local pub, Next Door (look 'em up if you're through town!).

I'm gonna be lazy about posting pics and just direct you to my facebook album. All apologies if you are: (A) too lazy to click an extra link OR: (B) at work surfing TAY and facebook is blocked.

PICS!pics!PICS!pics!PICS!pics!PICS!pics!PICS!pics!PICS!

(let me know if my privacy settings aren't allowing people to view)
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lrudholm
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #1 on: 05/14/12, 03:37 PM »

Looks like a pretty sick traverse for a weekend, and it looks like you can leave the glacier/tech gear behind.

NICE!!!
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Leyland
kath
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #2 on: 05/14/12, 04:59 PM »

awesome trip!!!

so conditions were stable? please elaborate .. esp on east/southeast facing slopes around 6K .. and how deep was the post holing ... and at what elevation?
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ovrthhills
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #3 on: 05/14/12, 05:23 PM »

Nothing like Olympic Corn.  Good timing.  Great route. 
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plugNchug
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #4 on: 05/14/12, 08:42 PM »

Way cool! I have wanted to get into Royal Basin on skis for years! Do you have a topo of your route?

Well done!
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David_Britton
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WWW
Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #5 on: 05/14/12, 09:21 PM »

Epic!
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Gary_H
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #6 on: 05/14/12, 10:44 PM »

You guys made quick work of a whole bunch of incredible terrain.  Wink
It was good to see you tonight! Again, happy 28th.


I'm gonna be lazy about posting pics and just direct you to my facebook album. All apologies if you are at work surfing TAY and facebook is blocked.


Rub it in....................... but keep living your dreams!

Gary and Jan
« Last Edit: 05/14/12, 10:48 PM by Gary_H » Logged

There is no such thing as too much snow............... Doug Coombs
Kyle Miller
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WWW
Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #7 on: 05/15/12, 07:55 AM »

Nice work guys I have dreamed of that trip for awhile.
Great work pulling it off!
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In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............
trees4me
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #8 on: 05/15/12, 10:26 AM »

Sweet!!!
That is my favorite trip to date.  You guys are super strong to have knocked it off in 3 days!

The pic standing in front of the recent avy debris and soft slabs is great, glad you avoided all those instabilities.

Upper Cameron and Grey Wolf basins are really something special (at least to a skier)



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chill people, skiing is fun
skier8484
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #9 on: 05/16/12, 05:16 AM »

Solid work here.  No descent of Deception on the last day?  Roll Eyes Grin

I look forward to seeing Allen's photos next fall as well.
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chmnyboy
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #10 on: 05/16/12, 12:22 PM »

so conditions were stable? please elaborate .. esp on east/southeast facing slopes around 6K .. and how deep was the post holing ... and at what elevation?

Kath, conditions were probably the best I've ever seen, although maybe my memory is skewed by the previous 2 springs that were characterized by runnels, rain, and mush. What we saw was perfect melt-freeze consolidation that got a deep freeze every night. SE slopes were great corn by 9am and stayed that way all day long, never getting mushy. I don't ever recall seeing even small point release wet slides and all the steep rollovers wouldn't slide or even create snowballing. The slab shown in my pics is not as fresh as is looks.


Way cool! I have wanted to get into Royal Basin on skis for years! Do you have a topo of your route?

I added a crappy googlemaps terrain shot of our route in the pic link above. It's not too good, but with a little effort you can figure out where we went on better topos.

Upper Cameron and Grey Wolf basins are really something special (at least to a skier)

Yeah, it would be great to do this traverse with a lot more time for side trips!


Solid work here.  No descent of Deception on the last day?  Roll Eyes Grin

I look forward to seeing Allen's photos next fall as well.

The whole idea of getting into Royal so quick was to ski the line that you and I did off Deception on Sunday morning, but when the alarm went off at 6am, Allen grunted once and we both went back to sleep. C'est la vie.
I'm not holding my breath for Allen's pics  Wink


Thanks all for the positive comments! The Oly's definitely make you work for it.
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danpeck
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #11 on: 05/16/12, 02:36 PM »

Very Very cool.  I've been wanting to do that... so thanks for the great pictures, map, and beta.  And inspiration.
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JoshK
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #12 on: 05/17/12, 02:22 PM »

Wow, that looks like a great traverse. Man I love that Royal Basin area, so beautiful and such amazing ski terrain in there! Last year when a friend and I went in there was a massive avalanche across the trail that had taken part of the cliff face off above and the debris was clear down to the massive old growth trees in the valley bottom. Perhaps you still saw evidence of it? I remember being very impressed with the scale of the destruction. For such a "short" mountain range, the Olympics are full of character and always deliver adventure!
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Steve_O
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #13 on: 05/26/12, 02:31 PM »

That's my favorite traverse in the Olympics unfortunately I've only ever hiked it.  Thanks for sharing!
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hedonaut
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Re: May 11, 12, 13th - Hurricane Royal Traverse
« Reply #14 on: 05/27/12, 10:35 AM »

cool trip! those Oly's sure hold the (earned) goods.  thanks for the report.
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